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Can an Existing HBO Max Subscription Be Added to YouTube TV?

You’ll need to choose between an existing HBO Max subscription and signing up through YouTube TV. Both have their benefits and limitations.

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An existing HBO Max subscription cannot be added to YouTube TV. Although YouTube TV allows subscribers to add HBO Max to their live TV streaming package, an existing subscription can’t simply be added to the live TV service. This might change in the future, but for now, subscribers will have to choose between an HBO Max subscription through YouTube TV or directly through HBO Max. Both of which come with their own benefits and limitations.

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HBO Max and YouTube TV are both popular streaming services although they do cater to different streaming needs. YouTube TV primarily offer access to live TV channels over the internet while HBO Max provides the option to stream a variety of on demand content available through select WarnerMedia brands, such as HBO, Warner Bros., DC and more.

In addition, both services are also priced very differently. While an HBO Max subscription will set the consumer back $14.99 per month, a YouTube TV subscription costs $64.99 per month, making it considerably more expensive. While the monthly cost increases even more when subscribing to both services at the same time, choosing between signing up to HBO Max through YouTube TV or directly won’t affect the overall combined price.

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HBO Max through YouTube TV benefits

A current HBO Max subscriber cannot simply add HBO Max to their YouTube TV package. Due to this, they will need to first cancel their existing HBO Max subscription and then sign up again through YouTube TV. Although this might seem unnecessary considering it is not any cheaper, there are some benefits to combining the two.

Firstly, combined billing. With an increase in the number of streaming services to choose from, having to manage multiple subscriptions has become all the more common and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. By subscribing to HBO Max through YouTube TV, consumers are able to reduce the number of subscriptions they need to manage by one.

When combined, YouTube TV effectively assumes control of the HBO Max subscription and all the responsibilities with it, including making payment. Therefore, subscribers will only have to pay YouTube TV for both subscriptions and not have to worry about setting up an and managing an account with each of the services. Similarly, they also don’t have to worry about downloading two different apps, with HBO content directly accessible through the YouTube TV app.

Possibly more importantly, subscribing to HBO Max through YouTube TV also comes with the added benefit of access to the HBO linear channels. These are not actually available through an HBO Max subscription directly, as they do require an active live TV subscription. For a number of individuals and households, this alone might make it worth subscribing through YouTube TV.

Depending on the other subscriptions an individual or household might need, there may also be a financial incentive for subscribing through YouTube TV. Essentially, YouTube TV offers an Entertainment Plus add-on that brings together HBO Max, Starz and Showtime subscriptions. If an individual or household plans to subscribe to all three of these additional services at the same time, then going through YouTube TV’s add-on reduces the total cost by $5 per month.

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HBO Max through YouTube TV limitations

While there are some very clear reasons to subscribe to HBO Max through YouTube TV, there are also some limitations. The main one is simply that not all of the content available through HBO Max can be accessed through the YouTube TV app. According to YouTube, only HBO original programming is, with the rest of the Max-related shows and movies only accessible through the HBO Max app.

Technically, this is not a major restriction, considering YouTube TV subscribers are able to take advantage of TV Everywhere support and use their live TV credentials to log in to the HBO Max app and watch the additional content. However, that still does require the user to download the HBO Max app, negating one of the benefits of combining the two subscriptions to begin with.

Another limitation to be aware of is that subscribing to HBO Max through YouTube TV places additional pressure to stay subscribed to YouTube TV. This is an expensive live TV subscription compared to others and one that has encountered multiple price increases over the years. If any additional price rises come through, or a subscriber wants to try an alternate live TV service to reduce their monthly costs or gain access to additional channels, they will also have to cancel their HBO Max subscription as well. Resulting in having to subscribe again directly through HBO Max.

Existing HBO Max subscriber summary

Existing HBO Max subscribers cannot simply add their subscription to their YouTube TV subscription. Instead they will have to choose between remaining an existing subscriber or canceling their HBO Max subscription and signing up through YouTube TV.

As to which option is best, that’s going to depend on the individual or household. Subscribing through YouTube TV offers the ability to combine billing and provides access to the linear HBO channels. However, having both combined in this way also removes any element of control, with the HBO Max subscription becoming dependent on the consumer also remaining a YouTube TV subscriber as well.

Read more: How to Fix ‘Can’t Sign in to HBO Max’ YouTube TV App Issue

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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